As a 1L student at this time last year, we began to wonder (assuming we would pass the April final exams) what 2L would be like. Would it be easier or harder? What courses would we choose? What would it be like not to have the bond of a small group in all classes? Now, over three-quarters of the way through 2L, we think it’s safe to say that 2L is pretty great. Here are a few of our favourite things.
First of all, before even starting 2L there is the craziness of big firm summer applications. If you are interested in the prospect of working for a large firm in the summer before 3L, your September and October will consist of OCI’s and interviews. It goes without saying that not everyone wants to work at a large corporate law firm. Try not to be influenced by what “everyone else is doing” and decide based on your own goals and interests whether this is an opportunity that appeals to you. It is a great learning experience and at the very least an opportunity to meet many practitioners in the Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto legal communities. Just remember to be cognizant of the fact that this will NOT be your only chance to get a job. Not only will you have the opportunity to apply for articling positions at large firms the following June, but there are also many positions offered by boutique firms, the Attorney General’s office and public interest organizations, to name a few.
Second of all, you get to choose courses! There are many opportunities to explore areas you’re interested in as well as areas you didn’t even know about, like cultural heritage and art law. Make sure to look into the various clinical options as well, including Moots, the Innocence Project, First Nations Legal Clinic, Criminal Clinic, Mediation Clinic and the Externship. We encourage you to branch out to new areas and to familiarize yourself with the courses and pertinent dates for program applications.
In 2L, you are thrown into classes that have both 2L and 3L students. These classes can be challenging and definitely take law to all new levels, but one great thing is that the final exams only cover material from the semester, as opposed to the entire year in 1L. And you’re pretty much a CAN-making expert by now, so the whole process seems more manageable. With more diverse classes, there are also great opportunities to meet more students and make more friends!
Once the initial shock of being in law school has worn off, getting involved is suddenly more realistic. You still have two years ahead of you, so why not make them memorable and, dare we say it, enjoyable. If you made a choice in to focus solely on academics as a 1L, make sure you consider joining a committee, participating in the Law Revue, becoming a member of the LSS or playing on the Rugby team next year. Attend school events – even if you’re only going for the cheap bZZr. The best law school memories take place outside the classroom, so get involved. While you may not enjoy being bombarded by water balloons at the trike race, it certainly beats camping out in the library all year.
All in all, 2L is great! As can probably be said of your whole legal life that lies ahead, there are lots of things to look forward to.
-Kate and Laura